To start with, I am trying to understand how to play Marziano's game. I get hung up almost immediately, because Marziano doesn't give enough of the rules. Nor does Marcello see any necessity for mentioning that fact. Presumably he thought that the ordinary rules for triumphs would apply. But there seems to be a difference, namely, the attachment of triumphs to the same suits as kings and birds. He says (http://trionfi.com/martiano-da-tortona- ... -16-heroum)
My question is, what does that mean, in practice?Indeed the first order, of virtues, is certain: Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury and Hercules. The second of riches, Juno, Neptune, Mars and Aeolus. The third of virginity or continence: from Pallas, Diana, Vesta and Daphne. The fourth however is of pleasure: Venus, Bacchus, Ceres and Cupid. And subordinated to these are four kinds of birds, being suited by similarity. Thus to the rank of virtues, the Eagle; of riches, the Phoenix; of continence, the Turtledove; of pleasure, the Dove. And each one obeys its own king.
A strict reading would be that that the suits, beside the ten birds and the king, include three gods and one demigod, for 15 cards per suit. So if a person is out of eagles, but does have, say, Mercury, he has to play Mercury as part of following suit. On the other hand, if someone doesn't have any of the 15 in the suit led, he can play some other triumph, and for that purpose, a different hierarchy applies, in which the second most powerful gods in the four suits all take precedence over Mercury. So for example if someone plays Bacchus, Bacchus beats Mercury.
My next question is, is that a game anyone would want to play? It seems not to give much room for strategy, since most of your triumphs will be played in cases where you have to play them and not when you choose to play them.
Also, it seems very easy to unintentionally break the rules, since there is no way of identifying the suit unless one either has memorized it or somehow knows the god's connection to the name of the suit. That is to say, if in the above situation I play a low triumph of some other suit, thinking that it is in the suit led: for example, I mistakenly think Eolis is in the suit of virtues. I am unintentionally breaking the rules. Then later when I play Mercury, I may be able to get away with it. But probably someone is going to say, you should have played that earlier, instead of Eolis. It seems like that would happen a lot, especially among inexperienced or young players. And so many arguments ending in hurt feelings. Again, not a very pleasant game.
Am I misreading Marziano?
Another way of interpreting him is that the rule about following suit doesn't apply to the gods and demigods. The suits' only functionfor the gods is to provide a rationale for their ranking, so that the most important in each is among the four highest gods, and so on. But this seems to be reading into him what he doesn't say.